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Jobs and Hobbies

small pile of fishing lead sinkers
Department of Health and Human Services

Jobs and Hobbies

Lead in jobs and hobbies

Some jobs and hobbies can result in lead exposure, including:

  • Renovating and painting
  • Mining
  • Smelting
  • Battery recycling
  • Refinishing old furniture
  • Auto body work
  • Working with stock cars (weights used in stock cars)
  • Hunting (shot and reloading lead ammunition)
  • Fishing (fishing sinkers and jigs)
  • Stained glass (came and solder)
  • Making pottery (dyes and glazes)

How am I exposed to lead in jobs and hobbies?

Some jobs and hobbies involve using lead. If you’re not careful, you can bring lead home with you on your clothes, shoes, or hands.

While working with lead in a job or hobby, lead can enter the body through breathing in, eating, or drinking lead. This may happen from:

  • Breathing in lead dust and lead fumes.
  • Eating without washing your hands and accidentally swallowing lead dust.
  • Putting lead materials in your mouth.

While lead will continue to exist in the environment, it is important to know there is no safe level of lead in the blood. Following lead-safe work practices can help prevent lead from entering your body.

How can I protect myself and my household from lead in jobs and hobbies?

To help protect yourself and those in your household from lead in jobs and hobbies:

  • Do not put leaded items in your mouth (fishing sinkers, etc.).
  • Wash your hands before eating or drinking.
  • Avoid touching your face while working with lead materials.
  • Change your clothes before going into your home.
  • Take off your shoes before going into your home.
  • Wash work clothes separately from other laundry. After washing lead-contaminated clothing and removing them from the machine, run the rinse cycle once before using the washing machine again.
  • Work with lead in a well-ventilated area outside of the home.
  • Follow lead-safe work practices at your job.

Educational resources

Take-home lead: a hazard for children and adults

Other agency resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Find information for workers and lead safety and indoor firing ranges.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) lead regulations.

U.S. Department of Labor - Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lead safety.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Find information about lead in jobs and hobbiesLead Renovation, Repair and Painting Program; and lead safe practices for outdoor shooting ranges.